House Rankings

OSEC RepRank

OSEC RepRank is a ranking of the nation's current Congressional representatives based on their commitment to financial reform that works for the average person.
* The contributions score represents the percantage of organizations that donated to a Congressional member that fall under the purview of financial market regulations.

We produced RepRank by analyzing how Congressional representatives voted on bills that relate to the regulation of financial markets. The results can be read as being a measure of how each member stacks up relative to the positions of Occupy the SEC (“OSEC”).

Methodology

Our methodology was rather straightforward. We created a simple formula that allowed us to produce a score between 0 and 100 for each member of the House . A score of 100 means that a member voted in a manner that was consistent with our positions on every bill. Conversely, a score of 0 means that the member took the opposite view of OSEC on all considered bills.

Additionally, we gave some weight to the sponsorship and cosponsorship of bills. If a bill was “good” then we viewed sponsoring (or introducing) the bill as good and therefore rewarded that individual with what amounts to additional good votes. If the individual introduced a “bad” bill then we subtracted from the member's score by counting the sponsorship as if it constituted additional bad votes. Co-sponsorship of bills was treated in a similar fashion but the weight we applied was smaller. Lastly, we added a multiplier to each bill that reflected the importance of the bill and its potential impact. For instance, if the bill was just a minor “technical fix” then it received a small multiplier, but if the bill was aimed at, say rehauling an entire agency, then we viewed votes on that bill as being more significant, and consequently applied a larger multiplier to it.

If you would like to produce your own rankings using our methodology we have provided the app script that we used to generate the ranking. It can be accessed via github at https://github.com/erictaylorhq/osec.

Commentary

After we produced the rankings we went a step further and tried to make more sense out of voting records by looking at where members received their political contributions. In particular, what interested us was how much of an individual member's political contributions came from sources in the financial services industry. It's no secret that Representatives who receive heavy support from the financial industry typically vote in that industry's favor. Our analysis tracks this phenomenon.

The graph below maps each member's score against the percentage of the member's contributions that came from the financial industry. One thing you can see is that the individuals who scored the worst received the largest fraction of their political contributions from the financial services industry. Conversely, those who had the better scores received minor contributions from the industry.

One difference from the last ranking is that there are fewer Democrats in the middle. The 114th Congress appears more polarized on the issue of financial market regulation than the 113th. The Democrats who claim to be “New Democrats” scored poorly compared to their party peers in the last ranking.